Call KB Researcher-in-residence 2020 - CLOSED


Are you an early career data scientist, social scientist, computer scientist, humanities scholar, or more simply put, a researcher working with or interested in our digital collections, such as the web archive, 100 million pages digitised text or ground-truth sets? Then we’re looking for you!

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its fully paid Researcher-in-residence program in 2020. This program offers a unique chance for early career researchers of all disciplines to work in the library with the Digital Scholarship team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB, what kinds of possibilities it offers and how we can improve our services.

You will be assisted by one of our research software engineers, an advisor and collection and data specialists. The output of the project will be incorporated in the experimental platform of the KB, the KB Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community.

The KB and opening up our digital collections

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands, is a research library with a broad collection in the fields of Dutch history, culture and society. As a national library we aim to collect and store all (digital) publications that appear in the Netherlands, as well as a part of the international publications about the Netherlands. The KB has planned to have digitised and OCRed its entire collection of books, periodicals and newspapers from 1470 onward by the year 2030. Over 100 million book, newspaper and magazine pages are currently available via the search portal and, but we also offer born digital collections, such as our web archive, which contains 38 TB of data and consist of more than 16.000 websites. The KB has formulated a Research Agenda for the period 2018 – 2022 in which we indicate five themes that we wish to focus our efforts on.

The Researcher-in-residence project will be carried out in the Research department of the KB and there will be two consecutive placements in 2020.

What kind of projects are we looking for?

We’re open to all kinds of projects that use our data and benefit your research and other users of the KB and/or the KB Lab. We encourage you to define your project by:

  • Formulating a fundamental research question that stems from your field of expertise, but can be linked to the KB Research Agenda in any way.
  • Formulating a project that preferably (but not necessarily) uses one (or more) of the following collections: magazines, web archive and/or ground-truth sets. For more information about other possible collections, see our Data services website. We also offer derived datasets on our KB Lab and you can browse through our collection of newspapers, magazines, radio bulletins and books on Delpher and dbnl.
  • Formulating a project that is different from or builds on the previous executed Researcher-in-Residence projects in terms of data, techniques and research question. See the table in the attachment for an overview of previous projects and outcomes.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for talented early career researchers of any nationality who are:

  • A PhD-student in the final stages of their PhD project or researchers that have obtained their PhD between 2015 and 2019
  • Employed at a university or research institute in the EU as academic researcher, or, when you are an external PhD, able to use the funding to obtain a contract at your university
  • Interested in using one (or more) of the digital collections of the KB,
  • Available for 0.5 fte over a period of 6 months (preferably from Q1 2020 or Q3 2020) and able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB premises.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment with the KB for 0,5 fte for a period of 6 months based on your current salary
  • Access to all datasets of the KB
  • Office facility
  • Travel costs within the Netherlands
  • Support from a research software engineer, advisor, and collection and data specialists

How do I apply?

Please use the template to formulate your research proposal and submit this as a pdf before 30 September 2019 via the email address, after having carefully read our terms and conditions. The form contains the following elements: details, project description (including research question, theoretical background and applied methods and techniques), outcomes, work plan, personal background, your availability in 2020 and a checkbox on our terms and conditions.

Before you start working on your proposal, we strongly advise you to contact in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and KB support with the Digital Scholarship team. Consultation slots with the team are available and advertised on

Review process

All proposals will first be reviewed on eligibility by an internal KB committee and then forwarded to an external committee of representative experts from several Dutch universities and institutions that have backgrounds in relevant fields. The commission consists of:

  • Prof. Dr. Lex Heerma van Voss (Huygens ING)
  • Dr. Daniel Oberski (University of Utrecht)
  • Dr. Jacco van Ossenbruggen (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI))
  • Dr. Annemieke Romein (Erasmus University)
  • Saskia Scheltjens (Rijksmuseum)
  • Prof. Dr. Susan Schreibman (University of Maastricht)

All entries will be judged on:

  • Originality and quality
  • Link with the KB Research Agenda
  • Feasibility (technically, legally and practically)
  • How the KB data will be showcased and used
  • Whether the end results are of use for a wider community

You will be notified of the outcome of this call in October 2019. For answers to more questions, read our FAQ. Please also read the terms of this call and placement.